Phil Hughes, who has been on the disabled list for two months with shoulder inflammation, allowed one run in 4 1/3innings and fanned seven Sunday for short-season Single-A Staten Island in his first rehab start.
According to ESPNNewYork.com, Hughes was consistently at 92-93 mph with his fastball and touched 95 mph in the outing, which is great news for the Yankees. Hughes was in the 88-91 mph range while getting lit up in three starts before landing on the disbaled list.
Hughes gave up three hits and walked one today. His last pitch was taken out of the park for a homer from catcher Nelfi Zapata, but everything prior to that was encouraging.
Hughes threw 61 pitches in all. He’s expected to make at least three more rehab starts before rejoining the Yankees next month. Although the Bombers have lost both Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain to injuries, they have every intention of bringing Hughes back as a starting pitcher.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.